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Scotland Bill — Committee (5th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:00 pm on 21st March 2012.

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Photo of The Earl of Caithness The Earl of Caithness Conservative 10:00 pm, 21st March 2012

My Lords, I am grateful for what the Minister said in reply to my amendment, which a number of noble Lords supported. I just wonder whether his mind is totally closed on the issue of allowing the Electoral Commission to set the question. A lot of us are still quite concerned about a Section 30 fudge on which we will have no say except a possible debate. A question could be negotiated behind closed doors in order to satisfy the Scottish Government, rather like the agreement over the past few days to which we were not party. We would have the same situation with a Section 30 order, and we would then have a question that we were not totally content with. Perhaps to avoid that situation, the Electoral Commission might be allowed to set the question. I know that the Minister had reservations about that but I hope that his mind is still open to being persuaded at a future time.